Build a wooden deck: Fixing joists

Depending on your plan to build a wooden deck, you must first determine the joist that will make up the skeleton of your wooden deck. All the joists, once assembled, must indeed provide for the installation of the boards of your wooden terrace but perhaps also that of a staircase or a railing. A classic joist will be made on a base of treated class 4 pine. This economical material is also available in several sizes. The joist can be laid in three different ways:


  • On a concrete slab. Speed ​​and efficiency are the keywords for this option. The joists are screwed into the concrete slab through PVC wedges to prevent contact with standing water;
  • on concrete pads accompanied by a draining layer of gravel spread over a geotextile to prevent the growth of plants;
  • A load-bearing joist. Adapted to the realization of all possible shapes, this economical solution is based on a beam structure supported by masonry studs. This structure itself supports the joist. It is this solution that we will use for our example.

Step 1: Secure the olives in a space that will depend on the thickness of the boards and the dimensions of your terrace. Example: for boards 2.5 to 5 cm thick, the joists should be spaced 40 cm from each other, 30 cm if the boards are laid diagonally.

Step 2: Once the joists are installed, you can cut the posts to height.

The decking

Now that your joists are secure, you can lay your boards on top. The installation of your boards will be much easier if your terrace boards are long enough to embrace the entire width of your terrace. Otherwise, you must lay your planks end to end, with the concern of distributing the joints evenly, but in such a way that they are never facing each other. This will allow you to avoid long and unsightly fittings.

Tip: The length of the screw should be about two and a half times the thickness of the board.

Step 1: Two nails/screws are required per board and per joist. Push them in obliquely so as to hold the boards correctly. Space the boards 5 to 8 mm apart.

Step 2: For an impeccable finish, and if you have opted for nails, you can use a nail set.

Angles and profile of your wooden deck

To avoid any accident and for more comfort, use the quarter round for the edges of your wooden terrace. Sharp edges have the annoying tendency to break or form splinters. Chamfer (45 ° edge angle) can also be an alternative to sharp edges, although it has a sharp angle, less comfortable than a quarter round.

For the section of the boards of your wooden deck, an average ratio of 1 to 6 with the width is recommended. For example: if your plank is 22mm thick, the width will be 125mm.

Shaping your terrace

The decks have this particularity to offer a variety of aspects that gives them an additional advantage. From frames to angles, passing through all kinds of elaborate geometric figures,… determining the layout of a wooden terrace (drawing for laying the floorboards ) is a good stimulus for your imagination and creativity.

What maintenance for your wooden terrace?

A priori, outdoor wood does not require any particular maintenance other than an annual cleaning with a high-pressure cleaner or a brush of wheatgrass and elbow grease. To nourish and protect your wooden deck, you can also use a saturator. Impregnation with oil is possible because it protects the wood from greasy stains (barbecue, etc.). But beware, such treatment promotes fouling linked to pollution.

Build a wooden deck: Fixing joists
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